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Thread: 1st Scoliosis Surgery at age 63

  1. #106
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    99

    Lab Work pre-surgery

    Quote Originally Posted by Tina_R View Post
    Nancy, I can't find the post, but somewhere you asked if you had to travel to your doctor's location, St. Louis, to have blood work done for him in advance of the surgery.

    Is that really necessary? Can't that be done locally with the results sent to the surgeon?
    Tina yes I posted on this w/ no response- I had read in the Scoliosis book David Wilberís was that some docs require you to come in for lab work, etc 1 week? or day? before surgery. I was trying to find out from others their experiences. I donít know what my dr will require especially coming out of state for surgery.

  2. #107
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    133
    Quote Originally Posted by Scared View Post
    Tina yes I posted on this w/ no response- I had read in the Scoliosis book David Wilber’s was that some docs require you to come in for lab work, etc 1 week? or day? before surgery. I was trying to find out from others their experiences. I don’t know what my dr will require especially coming out of state for surgery.
    The hospital made me come in for, I forget what they called it, but it was a pre-surgery check on my health. It consisted of blood work, a nose swab (because some people carry MRSA infection in their noses without knowing it), and interviews with a bunch of medical staff about my medications and my health past and present. The interviewers were nurses, an anesthesiologist, a physical therapist.

    This session was supposed to happen within a month of surgery but not so close that it would be hard to cancel the surgery if I had failed any of the tests. The whole thing took about 3 hours.

    I don't know if your hospital will do this. If it was simple blood work I'd say it could be done anywhere. But if it's like this thing I went through, where I was interviewed by the hospital's own people, they may insist you come in.
    Last edited by Tina_R; 12-15-2019 at 06:07 PM.

  3. #108
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    99

    Pre-Surgery Testing

    I am thinking it would be what you went through. Kinda of the standard work up. I was just going on what was in the book. Thanks for sharing.

  4. #109
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    99

    Apologies

    T
    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    Nancy, Here are some links.....

    https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/heal...before-surgery

    https://www.spineuniverse.com/treatm...spinal-surgery

    https://www.spineuniverse.com/condit...liosis-surgery

    I had to lose some weight, and quitting cafeine was not easy. My surgeon did not want me going into withdrawl in ICU.

    Medications and chemicals can add to the complexity of anesthesia and your well being. Be sure to address all of this with your surgeon. If they dont think you can handle a long surgery, they will stage it. Not everyone goes and has the works done, some of us cant handle that much surgery. My front surgery was done on a Tuesday, and the back was done 2 days later on Thursday. Your surgeon will determine all of this.

    I was out for my stage, they only woke me up for 1 minute for permission to proceed with the second surgery. This is law. I did not have a healthcare proxy or advanced healthcare directive

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Healthcare_proxy

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanc...care_directive

    If a doctor sees a value thats out of whack, he is going to question that and possibly proceed with more testing. For example; If they suspect you are smoking, they will be looking, and will pull the plug and stop your surgery.

    Ed
    Ed-Ií sorry that I forgot about your earlier response to my thread re: lab work/blood. I have been so anxious/depressed about things that I overlooked the 3 websites you posted. Feel bad about this m. The links are very helpful. Thanks 🙏 Nancy

  5. #110
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,119
    Quote Originally Posted by Scared View Post
    T
    Ed-Ií sorry that I forgot about your earlier response to my thread re: lab work/blood. I have been so anxious/depressed about things that I overlooked the 3 websites you posted. Feel bad about this m. The links are very helpful. Thanks 🙏 Nancy
    No worries....

    My dad taught me as a young child that whenever you are looking for something, anything, its always right out in front of you.... 99% of the time, this is true. (Unless its a grabber during recovery and your name is Ti-Ed) Grabbers are quite large, and I was WASTED and Weaning......I had just come off strong injectable medications at the hospital.

    "Wasted and Weaning" sounds like a good title for a Wille Nelson tune.

    I lost it early on, wasnt worried about it, and used my big-toe to grab clothes on the floor, bend knee, grab from behind.

    I was sitting there, and my big toe was right out in front of me! My dad was right! And right twice since I have 2 big toes! (Smiley face)

    Breathing is a good thing. Learn to use breathing. In HARD, Hold, release slowly. Its works great. For anxiety, do it right away and dont stop until the anxiety is gone. Before surgery for anxiety, I ran. After surgery, I would do the breathing erercise.

    My bloodwork was done 4 months before my surgeries. Of course bloodwork is done during surgery and after as they keep a close eye on things. Many of us need transfusions. I had 2 units or pints, felt like a breath of fresh air after that was done. My surgeon used the bloodbank. He did not want me donating my own blood.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  6. #111
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    7,125
    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    My bloodwork was done 4 months before my surgeries.
    Yikes! That's is definitely not the industry norm. There are all sorts of reasons to have bloodwork done within a week or two of surgery.
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  7. #112
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,119
    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine View Post
    Yikes! That's is definitely not the industry norm. There are all sorts of reasons to have bloodwork done within a week or two of surgery.
    My bloodwork was done in early Oct 2007, and my decision was made on Oct 31st. (Never forget THAT day.....)

    When we were deciding on a date, I really had too much on my plate with the business and thus picked the dates at the end of January.

    January 2008 was an intense month for me with the sale and the contracts. I completely ignored all the pain, I had no choice.

    It was a perfect example on why you cross train in business. I also had to prepare, and educate everyone on the outside. Many people had no clue AT ALL about scoliosis.

    Below is an attachment that we are all familiar with....

    Ed
    Attached Images Attached Images
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  8. #113
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    7,125
    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    My bloodwork was done in early Oct 2007, and my decision was made on Oct 31st. (Never forget THAT day.....)

    When we were deciding on a date, I really had too much on my plate with the business and thus picked the dates at the end of January.

    January 2008 was an intense month for me with the sale and the contracts. I completely ignored all the pain, I had no choice.

    It was a perfect example on why you cross train in business. I also had to prepare, and educate everyone on the outside. Many people had no clue AT ALL about scoliosis.

    Below is an attachment that we are all familiar with....

    Ed
    The most common thing that they check for is infection. A lot can happen in 4 months.
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  9. #114
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,119
    The October bloodwork happened when I was rejected. It was when I had to beg that my surgeon told me that he would look at my bloodwork to make a surgical decision. They ran bloodwork the morning of my surgeries at the hospital and I waited a few hours before I was wheeled in.

    ================================================== =========================

    On another note, tonight I had terrible beartraps. Tightest I have ever had, incredible gripping in the thoracic spine. Total exhaustion! Wow!

    I told everyone it was going to rain but the weather said no rain at all, and nothing was on the doppler radars. I looked.

    It is a terrential downpour right now....Clouds came out of nowhere and there are no winds to speak of. I could feel the pressure dropping.

    First set of beartraps in perfect weather or perfect temperature.....so, its not entirely temperature dependent.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  10. #115
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,593
    Hi there Nancy, my original surgery was in 2013. I held out to have surgery until I was really trashed with pain. I have had some revisions and postop complications. In fact, I think that I hold the record for complications with spine surgery. In spite of all of my complications/problems, I am happy that I had surgery. Why....because I waited until my quality of life was so low. I could not walk more than 1/2 block without needing to sit down. I saw 2 doctors for opinions about having surgery, both said the same surgical plan. I went to rehab for 2 weeks and learned basic self-care and walking with my turtle shell on.

    Best of luck with your decision making. Sounds like you found an excellent surgeon, awesome!

    Susan
    Adult Onset Degenerative Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Severe disc degen T & L stenosis

    2013: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal Spinal Cord Injury T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Revision Broken Bil T & L rods and no fusion: 2 revision surgeries; hardware P. Acnes infection
    2016: Ant/Lat Lumbar diskectomy w/ 4 cages + BMP + harvested bone
    2018: Removal L4,5 screw

  11. #116
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    46
    Hi Nancy, I saw your post and your online name ďscaredĒ made me want to respond, but I posted under another thread, thinking I was posting to youÖ. Anyway, Iíve copied my response below over to your thread. Just wondering if you scheduled surgery? I hope this info helps and I wish you all the best!
    ..........
    I havenít logged in for a few years now and I apologize for that. Everyone here has helped me through such a difficult decision. I would not have found the courage otherwise. I was fused August 2017, T2-Sacrum with pelvic fixation, by Dr. Lenke in NYC. I was 52 at the time with curves of 70 and 54 and a lot of rotation etc. I had a large hump on my back and pain most all of the time. Standing more than 5 minutes hurt and at the end of the day was impossible. My back was burned from the heating pad which I could barely feel. I would lean on the kitchen counter to make dinner, only went to stores with carts, and used a wheel chair the last time we went to Disney. Little by little I gave up things I used to enjoy. I did force myself to stay active prior to surgery however, (vanity mostly!). I worked out with weights and cardio. I would do an elliptical machine for 45 minutes by leaning after the first 5 to counter the pain and weight machines were never really a problem. Working out was something I really enjoyed, so I was concerned about what I would be able to do afterwards.

    I have to say, I do so much more now than ever before! I now feel guilty for not staying on an elliptical and lifting more out of laziness! I can leg press 540 pounds and feel no back pain. I lift weights as much as I want with no limitations. I donít even think about the fusion. I was worried I would be stiff etcÖ but no. You donít realize how little you need to bend your back for most of your daily routine. Of course I have limitations like putting on socks, painting my toes, and shaving legs close to the ankles. Thatís not a concern for me at all though, it is so minor compared to the pain and disfigurement I had prior! I donít have any pain now! I know some people still do afterward and I feel so badly for them. Sometimes things donít work out no matter how hard you try and through no fault of your own. However, all you can do is to do your homework, place your trust in the trained doctors who know more than you, and hope for the best.

    I researched surgeons for years prior and struggled with the decision. I thought how brave everyone else was who had it done and that I could absolutely not sign up for that! I lied awake thinking of how to get out of it, and of course the only way is to let it progress, put up with more pain and do less of the things you enjoy each year. It is a terrible decision to have to make. I am so glad it is over for me and someday it will be for you too. I am tremendously happy with my decision of surgery and am amazed at how much better my quality of life is now. I donít feel I am missing out on anything because of my surgery (T2-Sacrum) The surgery and recovery is difficult, but it gets better of course. Knowing the pain/recovery/benefits/limitations, I would most definitely do it again.

    My only issues are the following which I do not consider to be limiting in any way whatsoever:

    -Tie Shoes: I can tie them, but not to comfortably, so I tie them first then use a sock donner to help put them on.

    -Pedicure: Cutting and painting toe nails is difficult, so my husband does it for me. You could also use a salon. I wish I could do this, but not too big of a deal.

    -Shaving legs near ankles and around groin is a bit difficult. I have a ďman shaverĒ. It is an electric shaver I found on Amazon with a long handle. Itís for menís backs, but it works pretty good for womenís legs too!

    -Put on socks: I use a sock donner. Its quick and easy. I have several around the house and carry one in my gym bag. Itís not a problem.

    -Sit down bath: I can do this, but my shoulder blades are not very comfortable against hard surfaces. I think this is because I canít round my back, so what hits hard back surfaces are my shoulder blades.

    -Sitting/laying on floor: Sitting upright on the floor is not too comfortable. It is easier if I lean back on my hands or a pillow. Since you canít round your back, you canít get too close in forward to your legs, so you need to lean back. I can lay down on the floor, back, front or side, not real comfortable though. I get onto my knees to get up off the floor.

    -Butt wipe: This is difficult right after surgery especially. It gets better, however I will never be able to sit to do it again. I learned to stand and reach around. I also use Huggies wipes to be more efficient, but just tp works too. In the hospital they will give you a tool to help. I hated the tool and thought t was useless!

  12. #117
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,119
    Hi Ripley

    Quick post.

    So glad it all turned out well with your surgeries! Wasn't that recovery fun!

    I just looked back at an old thread and you asked me about the best chairs. I responded with the Rolls Royce in a swimming pool. (Keith Moon)

    For a good laugh, look back at my old posts! LOL

    I sat in airplanes all day yesterday so I am a little beat up. It was a long trip. Walked about 4 miles at the Miami airport so got plenty of exercise.

    Be careful with the lifting. Especially something off the floor....

    Ed
    Attached Images Attached Images
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  13. #118
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    46

    I remember!

    Hi Ed! I remember your post and that pic! Nice to hear from you and glad you are doing well!!

    -Ripley

  14. #119
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    99
    Quote Originally Posted by ripley View Post
    Hi Nancy, I saw your post and your online name ďscaredĒ made me want to respond, but I posted under another thread, thinking I was posting to youÖ. Anyway, Iíve copied my response below over to your thread. Just wondering if you scheduled surgery? I hope this info helps and I wish you all the best!
    ..........
    I havenít logged in for a few years now and I apologize for that. Everyone here has helped me through such a difficult decision. I would not have found the courage otherwise. I was fused August 2017, T2-Sacrum with pelvic fixation, by Dr. Lenke in NYC. I was 52 at the time with curves of 70 and 54 and a lot of rotation etc. I had a large hump on my back and pain most all of the time. Standing more than 5 minutes hurt and at the end of the day was impossible. My back was burned from the heating pad which I could barely feel. I would lean on the kitchen couonter to make dinner, only went to stores with carts, and used a wheel chair the last time we went to Disney. Little by little I gave up things I used to enjoy. I did force myself to stay active prior to surgery however, (vanity mostly!). I worked out with weights and cardio. I would do an elliptical machine for 45 minutes by leaning after the first 5 to counter the pain and weight machines were never really a problem. Working out was something I really enjoyed, so I was concerned about what I would be able to do afterwards.

    I have to say, I do so much more now than ever before! I now feel guilty for not staying on an elliptical and lifting more out of laziness! I can leg press 540 pounds and feel no back pain. I lift weights as much as I want with no limitations. I donít even think about the fusion. I was worried I would be stiff etcÖ but no. You donít realize how little you need to bend your back for most of your daily routine. Of course I have limitations like putting on socks, painting my toes, and shaving legs close to the ankles. Thatís not a concern for me at all though, it is so minor compared to the pain and disfigurement I had prior! I donít have any pain now! I know some people still do afterward and I feel so badly for them. Sometimes things donít work out no matter how hard you try and through no fault of your own. However, all you can do is to do your homework, place your trust in the trained doctors who know more than you, and hope for the best.

    I researched surgeons for years prior and struggled with the decision. I thought how brave everyone else was who had it done and that I could absolutely not sign up for that! I lied awake thinking of how to get out of it, and of course the only way is to let it progress, put up with more pain and do less of the things you enjoy each year. It is a terrible decision to have to make. I am so glad it is over for me and someday it will be for you too. I am tremendously happy with my decision of surgery and am amazed at how much better my quality of life is now. I donít feel I am missing out on anything because of my surgery (T2-Sacrum) The surgery and recovery is difficult, but it gets better of course. Knowing the pain/recovery/benefits/limitations, I would most definitely do it again.

    My only issues are the following which I do not consider to be limiting in any way whatsoever:

    -Tie Shoes: I can tie them, but not to comfortably, so I tie them first then use a sock donner to help put them on.

    -Pedicure: Cutting and painting toe nails is difficult, so my husband does it for me. You could also use a salon. I wish I could do this, but not too big of a deal.

    -Shaving legs near ankles and around groin is a bit difficult. I have a ďman shaverĒ. It is an electric shaver I found on Amazon with a long handle. Itís for menís backs, but it works pretty good for womenís legs too!

    -Put on socks: I use a sock donner. Its quick and easy. I have several around the house and carry one in my gym bag. Itís not a problem.

    -Sit down bath: I can do this, but my shoulder blades are not very comfortable against hard surfaces. I think this is because I canít round my back, so what hits hard back surfaces are my shoulder blades.

    -Sitting/laying on floor: Sitting upright on the floor is not too comfortable. It is easier if I lean back on my hands or a pillow. Since you canít round your back, you canít get too close in forward to your legs, so you need to lean back. I can lay down on the floor, back, front or side, not real comfortable though. I get onto my knees to get up off the floor.

    -Butt wipe: This is difficult right after surgery especially. It gets better, however I will never be able to sit to do it again. I learned to stand and reach around. I also use Huggies wipes to be more efficient, but just tp works too. In the hospital they will give you a tool to help. I hated the tool and thought t was useless!
    Sorry for the delay-Just wanted to say thanks for sharing your experience as it brings hope. Iíl be fused T4-pelvic. Still having to jump thru some hoops to get pre-surgery appt. Iím at same place you were in pre-surgery except unable to work out (lucky to walk).

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